Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Slow Cooker Goodness

This weekend we invited our friends David and Kathy and their two boys over for dinner.  I decided to try another delicious slow cooker recipe from the February issue of Midwest Living.  This recipe is called Beef Short Ribs over Gorgonzola Polenta and it looked perfect for a wintery Saturday night dinner with friends.

I got the short ribs from the nicest butcher woman at Bob's Butcher Block.  Apparently (I didn't know this) short ribs are from the chuck roast.  They did not have any in the butcher case, but she happily cut some for me.  I used about three pounds of short ribs.  The recipe also calls for a fennel bulb, an onion, two medium carrots, a can of diced tomatoes, some tapioca, red wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary. 
First, slice up the onion.
Check out the Santoku knife I got for Christmas.  This is the most amazing knife I have ever used.  I swear, I would slice onions all afternoon with this thing if I could.  Then, slice up two carrots.
Next, core and slice up the fennel bulb.  Mmm... this smells so good.
Put all the veggies in the slow cooker.
Next, you are supposed to place the meat on top of the vegetables.  I decided to brown the short ribs a bit first.

While the short ribs were browning, I made the sauce.  Put the diced tomatoes, undrained in a bowl.

Then add some red wine.
And some tapioca, garlic, salt and pepper, and rosemary.
Place the meat on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
And pour the sauce over the top.
Then cook on low for 9 to10 hours or on high for 41/2 to 5 hours.  The three wonderful things about slow cooker meals are 1.) It was 2:00 in the afternoon, and my entree was done, 2.) I had time to clean up the kitchen before dinner, and 3.) It smells SO good in your house when everything starts to simmer.

I got some flowers at the grocery store and set the tables.

This is the kids' table.
This is the adults' table.
Kathy brought some delicious homemade bread.
Before serving, I made the Gorgonzola Polenta. (I added some Parmesan cheese as well.  More cheese is never a bad idea!)  I also made a simple green salad and some homemade rolls. 
It was delicious!  After dinner, the guys made a big fire in our fire pit and the kids ran around in the snow and had s'mores for dessert.  Then, when they came inside, the adults had gingerbread cake with fresh whipped cream.  I forgot how good gingerbread cake is.  Yummy!

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